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Ravinder Yerram and Nagendra Prasad Quality Engineering and Software Technologies (QuEST), Bangalore Prakash Rao Malathkar and Vasudeo Halbe
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Nashik
Shashidhara Murthy K
MNR Filters India Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore
Air intake system and filter play major role in getting good quality air into automobile engine. It improves the combustion efficiency and also reduces air pollution. This paper focuses on optimizing the geometry of an intake system in automobile industry to reduce the pressure drop and enhance the filter utilization area. 3D viscous CFD analysis was carried out for an existing model to understand the flow behavior through the intake system, air filter geometry and filter media. Results obtained from CFD analysis of the existing model showed good correlation with experimental data. Based on existing model CFD results, geometrical changes like baffle placement in inlet plenum of the filter, inclusion of bell mouth in outlet plenum and dirty pipe , optimization of mesh size, removal of contraction in clean pipe of intake system etc are carried out, to improve the flow characteristics. The CFD analysis of the optimized model was again carried out and the results showed good improvement in flow behavior, better filter utilization with considerable reduction in pressure drop and significant reduction in re-circulation zones of the air filter geometry. By using 3D CFD analysis, optimal design of the intake system for an automobile engine is achieved with considerable reduction in development time and cost.
understanding of flows and pressure drop through the system is essential. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is considered to be the most cost effective solution for flow analysis of intake system along with filter media. This paper focuses on the optimization of the intake system and filter by CFD analysis results.
3. GEOMETRY MODEL
Figure (3.1) shows solid model of intake system and filter. In order to save the CFD computational time and cost, trivial geometric details that are unimportant from fluid flow point of view, such as fillets, blends, stiffeners and steps have been ignored. Ignoring all the above-mentioned, so called a cleaned geometry was obtained from solid model.
The work of an air filter is to filter the dirt particles from the intake air and supply cleaner air to the automobile engine. Air enters the filter through dirty pipe and inlet side plenum, which guides the flow uniformly through the filter media. Optimum utilization of filter can significantly reduce the cost of filter replacements frequently and keep the filter in use for longer time. To optimize intake system and filter, thorough
Figure (3.1): Intake system solid model
Figure (3.2) shows the fluid volume for the existing intake system and filter and figure (3.3) shows the fluid volume for the modified intake system with baffles. where filter media is approximated to rectangular volume and considered as porous media. For mesh generation, all surfaces and curves were extracted from the cleaned model.
5. CFD MODEL DESCRIPTION
Air was used as fluid media, which was assumed to be steady and incompressible. High Reynolds number k-ε turbulence model  was used in the CFD model. This turbulence model is widely used in industrial applications. The equations of mass and momentum were solved using SIMPLE algorithm  to get velocity and pressure in the fluid domain. The assumption of an isotropic turbulence field used in this turbulence model was valid for the current application. The near-wall cell thickness was calculated to satisfy the logarithmic law of the wall boundary. Other fluid properties were taken as constants. Filter media of intake system and air sensor were modeled as porous media using coefficients. For porous media, it is assumed that, within the volume containing the distributed resistance , there exists a local balance everywhere between pressure and resistance forces such that (1)
Figure (3.3): Fluid volume of modified intake system
Figure (3.2): Fluid volume of existing intake system
4. CFD MESHING
To capture the three-dimensional flow inside the domain with reasonable accuracy, one needs good quality mesh. Multi-block structured hexagonal mesh was considered to be the best for this case and was created using commercial mesh generator (ICEMCFD). The model was approximately 0.55 million hexagonal fluid elements. Boundary layer was resolved for y+ of 40 to 200 to capture physics inside the complicated regions. Figure (4.1) shows hexahedral mesh of intake system fluid domain. Figure (4.2) shows hexahedral mesh near baffles and clean air pipe elbow.
Where ξI (i = 1, 2, 3) represents the (mutually orthogonal) orthotropic directions. Ki is the permeability ui is the superficial velocity in direction ξi The permeability Ki is assumed to be a quasilinear function of the superficial velocity magnitude of the form (2) Where αi and βi are user-defined coefficients . Superficial velocity at any cross section through the porous medium is defined as the volume flow rate divided by the total cross sectional area (i.e. area occupied by both fluid and solid). In this analysis, αi and βi are assumed to be same.
6. GOVERNING EQUATIONS
Commercial CFD solver Star-CD was used for this study. It is a finite volume approach based solver which is widely used in the industries. Governing equations solved by the software for this study in tensor Cartesian form are following: Continuity:
Figure (4.1): Intake system hexahedral mesh
(3) Momentum: (4) Where ρ is density, uj is jth Cartesian velocity, p is static pressure, τij is viscous stress tensor.
Figure (4.2): Hexahedral mesh near baffles and elbow
7. BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
Various boundary conditions for the different components applied to this study were as follows: For inlet, the mass flow rate was imposed using the fixed mass inlet boundary condition. The value of density (1 kg/m3), total pressure (1 atm) and turbulence intensity (5%) were specified at the inlet boundary. For outlet, outflow boundary condition was imposed with flow rate weighting of 1. No slip boundary condition was applied on all wall surfaces. For main filter media, porous media boundary was imposed with αi = βI = 3000. For air sensor, porous media boundary was imposed with αi = βI = 290. Whole domain was considered at 1 atm and at 298 K as initial condition.
It is worth to mention that introducing baffle in the inlet plenum below the filter has enhanced the efficiency by guiding the flow and reducing the pressure drop significantly that was present earlier.
8. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
To have effective cleaning of air from filter, it was suggested to have uniform velocity of air pass through filter.
Figure (8.2-a): Velocity magnitude (m/s) contour plot for the existing model
Figure (8.1-a): Velocity vector (m/s) plot for the existing model
Figure (8.2-b): Velocity magnitude (m/s) contour plot for the existing model
Figure (8.1-a) shows two recirculation zones right below the filter needed to be considered for optimization as the recirculation in flow field causes energy dissipation. In order to avoid the recirculation, introducing the baffle was suggested which would guide the flow to avoid recirculation. After the baffle was introduced in the existing model, CFD analysis was again carried out to decide the location and effect of baffle. Velocity vector plot of modified model in figure (8.1-b) below gives a clear picture of less recirculating flow field.
Figure (8.2-a) and figure (8.2-b) show the velocity magnitude contour plot in the critical region in the flow domain. In the figure (8.2-b) it can be seen the effect of baffle as the flow is relaxed and better flow distribution. Near outlet plenum exit, flow was separating and recirculating at both the ends. This phenomenon can be seen figure (8.3-a). To avoid separation and recirculation in this region, a bell-mouth was introduced. This can be clearly seen in figure (8.3-b) of velocity vectors. Figure (8.4) shows a separation zone at one side after the first bend of clean pipe. And more concentrated velocity magnitude contours were seen at the other end which is typical phenomenon that can be seen in bends. To overcome such phenomenon of separation, a baffle was introduced that guides the flow and make the flow uniform. This will possibly improve engine performance.
Figure (8.1-b): Velocity vector (m/s) plot for the modified model
Table (8.1) presents percentage improvement in total pressure drop (reduction) in the intake system with various design modifications. By changing mesh type (simplified rectangular grid) near entry to intake system and bell-mouth in dirty pipe inlet, pressure drop improved by 33%. By placement of baffles in inlet plenum before filter media the performance has improved by 28% that is significant in intake system. Bell-mouth and baffle inside the clean pipe improved the flow and pressure drop by 6.5%.
a. Without baffle
b. With baffle
Figure (8.4): Velocity magnitude contours after clean pipe baffle
Dirty pipe with mesh Intake System, Filter and Air Sensor Clean Pipe Through out the domain Percentage improvement (reduction) in Total Pressure drop with baffles and other modifications 33 28 6.5 22
Table (8.1): Percentage Improvements in total pressure drop (reduction) in various regions
CFD analysis was done using commercial CFD solver Star-CD to understand the flow phenomenon in an intake system. CFD results of the existing intake system had shown recirculation and separation zones before and after the filter media. Following design modifications were considered to improve the flow and pressure drop through the intake system • Changing of mesh type (simplified rectangular grid) in dirty pipe. • Introduction of bell-mouth in dirty and clean pipe • Introduction of baffles inside inlet plenum just below filter media. • Introduction of baffle in clean pipe bend All the above changes incorporated in the design improved overall pressure drop by 22%.
The authors would like to sincerely thank Mr. Mihir Desai and Mr. Veerabathra Swamy for their support in CFD analysis in this project.
Figure (8.3-a): Velocity vectors plot near outlet plenum before modification
(1) Patankar, S.V. 1980, “Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow”, Hemisphere, Washington, D.C. (2) Launder, B.E., and Spalding, D.B. 1974, “The Numerical Computation of Turbulent Flows”, Comp. Meth. in Appl. Mech. and Eng., 3, pp. 269-289. (3) STAR-CD Methodology (4) MNR Filters India Pvt. Ltd., experimental resources
Ravinder Yerram Senior Technical Leader, CFD Team Quality Engineering & Software Technologies (QuEST) #55 QuEST Towers, Whitefield Main Road, Mahadevapura, Bangalore-560 048 Tel: +91-80-41190909 Extn. 313 Fax: (91) 80-41190901
Figure (8.3-b): Velocity vectors plot near outlet plenum after introducing bell-mouth
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